Sylvan Lake Lodge Fire update

Sylvan Lake Lodge Eastern Part Of The BuildingCUSTER, S.D. — The Sylvan Lake Lodge at Custer State Park suffered from the fire that broke out on December 18.

The historic section of the building was spared, but firefighters are still watching for hot-spots that could re-kindle the blaze. Crews from both South Dakota and Wyoming were able to leave Sunday morning after an 18-hour night.

“It’s still being monitored. We’ll check for hotspots and continue to keep an eye on the situation just in case,” Assistant Chief Matt Spring for Custer Fire Department said.” We don’t want to get a rekindle.”

The Lodge had originally been built in place of the Sylvan Lake Hotel at Harney Peak, which burned down in 1935.

Fire crews managed to contain this blaze to the eastern side of the building, which was built in 1991 to allow for more lodging opportunities.

“Several rooms and roof have been totally destroyed, but we were able to stop it midway in that addition,” Spring said

According to a release from the Custer Volunteer Fire Department, no civilians or animals were hurt or perished in the fire, and two firefighters on-scene received minor injuries.

Custer County Search and Rescue was also there Sunday morning as crews worked to clean the area. With drones, they were able to gain a greater understanding of the damage done to the structure’s roof, along with starting to monitor the inside for any hot spots that could flare up.

“It’s like your fireplace. You want to kick it around, spray water on it and keep an eye on it for a while. Think of it like a big fire pit,” Spring explained. “There’s lots of embers, lots of places a fire could hide. So it’s going to be monitored for quite some time until we’re comfortable with turning it back over.”

Fire officials are still investigating what caused the fire, and there is no estimated cost of damage at this point.

They’re just glad to have been able to preserve much of the historic structure.

“It’s a jewel of South Dakota – it’s a very important iconic part of it,” he stated. “And we’re happy a lot of it is still standing.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News